Iran: Yes, we facilitated the passage of 9/11 hijackers

A nice catch by the Free Beacon. An Iranian official has admitted for the first time that his country facilitated the passage of some of the 9/11 hijackers. The admission comes in the form of an interview which appeared on Iranian state TV last month. Al Arabiya published an English-language account of the interview today:

In an interview with the Iranian state TV broadcast on May 30 and circulated by activists on social media networks, [Mohammad-Javad] Larijani narrated the details of the Iranian regime’s relations with al-Qaeda and how the Iranian intelligence supervised the passage and relocation of al-Qaeda members in Iran.

In the interview, which Al Arabiya translated a part of, Larijani said: “The lengthy report of the 9/11 commission which was headed by figures like Lee Hamilton and others mentioned in pages 240 and 241, i.e. in two or three pages, queries Iran’s role in the issue (and said that) a group of reports stated that al-Qaeda members who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia and other countries like Afghanistan or others and who entered Iranian territories by land or by air asked the Iranian authorities not to stamp their passports (and told them) that if the Saudi government knows they’ve come to Iran, it will prosecute them.”

“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” he added.

Larijani said the US took this as evidence of Iran’s involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks and fined Iran billions of dollars.

Last month, a U.S. Judge ordered Iran to pay nearly $6 billion to the families of 9/11 victims:

A federal judge in New York on Tuesday ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars to parents, spouses, siblings and children of more than 1,000 9/11 victims, court documents obtained by ABC News show.

The default judgment issued by Judge George B. Daniels finds the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran are liable for the deaths of 1,008 people whose families sued.

So that’s the fine Larijani is talking about, a fine that no one expects Iran will ever pay.

It’s a bit hard to tell if Larijani intends to thumb his nose at the U.S. (always possible) or thinks he is pointing out why the U.S. fine was unfair to Iran, or something in between. But the important point is that an Iranian official has admitted aiding the hijacker’s passage and monitoring their travel. Here’s the interview: